Open thread for night owls: New technologies will soon make urban warfare even worse
Darran Anderson at The Atlantic writes—The Grim Future of Urban Warfare: New technologies are making war even more horrific:
War is won by breaking an enemy’s morale until their ability to resist collapses. In Iraq, the U.S. military employed “shock and awe,” demonstrating overwhelming force while using superior technology and intelligence. It was a new term for an ancient approach: “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt,” Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, centuries before Christ. Strike suddenly, brutally, and with the element of surprise to sow confusion and encourage surrender and retreat—or to stage annihilation.
The Third Reich’s blitzkrieg techniques did the same (“the engine of the Panzer is a weapon just as the main gun,” the German general Heinz Guderian noted), along with the shrieking “Jericho Trumpet” sirens its Luftwaffe attached to planes making dive-bomb attacks on cities. The aim was not just the shattering of buildings but the shattering of nerves.
In the present, war’s terror arrives more silently. Soon, the missiles raining down will be hypersonic, traveling in excess of five times the speed of sound, and evading detection and interception in the process.
War has changed and remained the same. The origins of future wars are already here, being laid in policies and ambitions, rivalries and resources, greed and grievances. The technologies that will be used to dominate and destroy are already in use or development. They will bring more conflict to cities, where casualties will multiply, along with chaos and fear. War is always bad, but it’s going to become much worse. [...]
Even an “ethical” attack, on infrastructure rather than civilians, will result in misery. Destroyed airports, downed bridges, disabled power stations, and disrupted communication networks will tear daily life asunder. The psychological impact upon children—living in basements; subject to the sounds and tremors of bombardments; isolated from social systems, education, adequate sanitation; facing food and medical shortages—is inestimable. Danger in the form of cluster bombs (which are still killing and maiming people in Southeast Asia (decades after their deployment) and chemical weapons litters the wreckage that children play in. [...]
TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES
“If the tradition which claims that war may be justified does not also admit that it could be unjustified, the affirmation is not morally serious. A Christian who prepares the case for a justified war without being equally prepared for the negative case has not soberly weighted the prima facie presumption that any violence is wrong until the case for an exception has been made.”
~~John Howard Yoder, When War is Unjust: Being Honest in Just-War Thinking (1996)
TWEET OF THE DAY
xHaha, @NancyPelosi on why the Trump meeting was private: «We didn't want to say, in front of those people, 'You don't know what you're talking about'.» pic.twitter.com/O76QVDHm0W— Tommy Keep Christ In Xtopher (@tommyxtopher) December 11, 2018
BLAST FROM THE PAST
On this date at Daily Kos in 2012—Mitch McConnell demands Democrats negotiate with themselves:
With some increase in taxes on the wealthy clearly inevitable, Republicans are pretty much left with nothing to do but try to distract public attention away from the fact they're still holding middle class tax cuts hostage, and continue to make unreasonable demands. There's no one better at that than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. With talks to avert a series of spending cuts and tax increases continuing between President Obama and congressional leaders, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Tuesday that no deal will be reached until Democrats step forward with specific proposals to cut federal spending.
“For all the president’s talk about the need for a balanced approach, the truth is he and his Democratic allies have simply refused to be pinned down on any spending cuts,” McConnell said. And, of course, Republicans have come up with essentially nothing beyond demands that the poor and the old get hurt really, really bad. But in totally not-Republican suggested ways that Democrats will have to come up with so that Republicans can blame it all on them in the next election.
LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Butina to cooperate, whatever that might mean for a spy. Could it wreck the ИЯA? Will we have a Trump wall shutdown? Will we have a WH chief of staff? Waking up to Ryan's fraud. What is Brexit, anyway? Can we all live in a yellow cheese submarine?
RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)